From May 2 to 13, the Republic of Senegal will host the first overseas art session of the Innopraktika & Russian Seasons School, supported by the National School of Art in Dakar. The preparations for the session's launch had been underway since last year. The School was founded by the Innopraktika company and the Russian Seasons cultural project.
16 talented painters and sculptors from 7 African countries: the Republic of Cameroon, Republic of Guinea, Republic of Burundi, Republic of Senegal, Republic of Tunisia, Republic of Congo, and the Democratic Republic of Congo will come to Dakar, the capital of Senegal, as part of a foreign session. Students will create artworks on a given topic under the responsive guidance of four teachers from the Ilya Repin St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts.
“This is a much-anticipated project that continues the tradition of international cooperation and reveals the high potential of cultural exchange between Russia and Africa. Each participant has a unique opportunity to experience the diversity of artistic life in Russia and see a wide range of creative artistic approaches. I am confident that this milestone event will be a real treat for all creators and people who can appreciate the beauty,andan opportunity to introduce thenew names to the world of art,”said Olga Lyubimova, Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation.
“The first overseas session is a major step forward for the School and an opportunity to share the experience of Russian authors and their vision of art with international students, who come from all over the African continent. We have received over 100 applications from young painters and sculptors who were eager to discover the world of Russian art. It is worth noting that many African countries express genuine interest in Russian culture, which is one of the reasons for organizing the session in the Republic of Senegal,” saidAlexei Lebedev, director of the Russian Seasons project .
“The first overseas session of Innopraktika and Russian Seasons School is a new phase of the School's development. When we envisioned the Global Values project in 2017, we had no idea that such world-changing events would happen. The new post-pandemic era transformed communications and introduced new opportunities. Yet the significance of values, and thus the humanitarian and sociocultural underpinnings of civilizational advancement, is something that will remain unchanged forever. Today, more than ever, the importance of the mission of the Innopraktika & Russian Seasons School cannot be overstated. It helps build an intercultural dialogue between people from different countries, with different artistic views and aesthetic traditions, expanding the horizons of human interaction, particularly through the unifying power of art, which everyone can understand without words,” saysNatalia Popova, First Deputy General Director of Innopraktika, a non-governmental development institute.
Russian fine art and the Russian art school are world-renowned. St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, named after Ilya Repin, is the birthplace of Russian art masters and one of the centers of the country's artistic life, which has already twice welcomed students of the School to its walls. Sculptors Ekaterina Pilnikova and Vladimir Brodarsky, painters Anastasia Nikolaeva and Ilya Zorkin are among the mentors working with students during this year's overseas session.
“Africa is a remarkable continent, with a wide variety of possibilities. Many painters, including Russian ones, sought inspiration from the desert landscapes and expressive faces. We used to have students from Africa, mostly from Ethiopia, a distant yet familiar country that bestowed upon us the ancestors of the great Russian poet. Remarkably, even today, an excellent student from Ethiopia is studying within our walls in the church-historical workshop.
We eagerly prepared for the trip to Senegal, endeavoring to select the best teachers capable of inspiring the talented students picked through a competition to join the Russian Seasons school in Dakar. We came up with an interesting program that combines the thoroughness inherent in our School with local culture, ethnography, and charm. We have high hopes for this program and look forward to continuing the dialogue of cultures. After all, the world is huge. It is not limited to Asia, Europe, and America, of which we have had an established image for centuries,” says Semyon Mikhailovsky ,Rector of the Ilya Repin St. Petersburg Academy of Arts.
The course will take place at the Place du Souvenir Africain, a large cultural cluster on the Atlantic coast, supported by the École Nationale des Arts (Senegal's National School of Arts). The curriculum will include lectures on the history and basics of the Russian schools of painting and architecture. Besides theoretical classes, practical ones also scheduled: participants will be working on an art piece for two weeks, reflecting on the session's topic: “Creativity Unites: Preserving Global Values.” The session will conclude with a qualification work presented at the exhibition in Dakar.
Right after the foreign session, an art session will be held at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, from June 2 to June 23, 2022. Following the artistic session, the Innopraktika and Russian Seasons School has a choreographic session scheduled to take place in St. Petersburg at the Boris Eifman Academy of Dance from July 6 to 26, 2022. According to the project's tradition, it will end with the Global Values Festival in Sevastopol.
The work of the Innopraktika and Russian Seasons School is based on the principles of cultural relations, in which the experience of predecessors is as important as the realities of modern life. With the help of Russian mentors from the country's leading educational institutions, students from different countries will discover common patterns and find the intimate details that make the world in which we live a world of shared global values - a world of people striving for unity through art.
For more information , visit the School section of the Russian Seasons website.